April 4, 2002

Selecting the Best Of the Best

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Spring Break usually isn’t stressful, but for the heavyweight crew, it had the potential for high drama. All of the training that has been done over the fall and winter months culminated in a ten-day marathon of intrasquad competition. A hierarchy of sorts was created amongst the guys. Utilizing data from land and water performances, people were placed into first (Varsity), second (JV), and third (3V) boats.

It is easy for a rower to be nervous during boat selection, but I got the impression that this pressure was muted by the fact that we have great team speed. All of the boats that I have been in over the past week witnessed fairly substantial power. We are fortunate to have a very deep core of men who provide us with great overall team strength.

Stress is only onset by a lack of preparation. If one has not put in the time to prepare for an exam, then usually much anxiety follows and only hinders performance. This past week was a primetime showcase opportunity for those who had prepared and had trained all fall and winter to perform in front of evaluative eyes. Some were even anxious to go under the rigors of selection.

This hierarchy was initially established on land via the ergometer, a health club favorite. The format of the test was 2000 meters. This is also the standard length of all of our sprint races. Thus, this test distance has special significance and sets the benchmark for comparing rowers in terms of potential rowing power.

The 2k is painful. People have been known to collapse, vomit, and become a total invalid afterwards. 2k’s are schizophrenic; the first 800 meters are easy, and you just pop along with seemingly effortless y